Hands-On

Epson EF-100B Hands-on: Home theater for the uncommitted

Enjoy a home theater without staying at one place

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Gone are the days where we watch movies on big screens, at least for now. When the pandemic struck, I spent life stuck at home, watching shows on a smaller screen.

Laptops and smartphones have been my companions in these isolated moments. Frankly, I miss movie nights with my friends and sitting comfortably in theaters with a date. I miss losing myself in awe of a film’s plot, as I immerse myself in its spectacular visuals.

When Epson reached out if we’d like to test one of their laser projectors, I accepted without hesitation.

The Epson EF-100B arrived in a marvelous color: Tailored Black.

It comes with a beautiful bronze-gold accent (which also looks copper in certain lighting conditions)…

… accompanied by a black, elegant, leather-like textured shell.

The overall design looks posh with its lines, textures, and finish — blending easily in any surroundings.

It’s lightweight and definitely user-friendly!

One of the EF-100’s selling points is its portability. Having a slim and lightweight design means it’s compact enough to fit in your backpack or be easily ferried from one room to another.

Moreover, you just need to plug the projector wherever there’s a power outlet. It offers a different kind of portability since it needs electricity instead of having a set of batteries.

On the same side, you can find fan perforations and an audio jack inside of a flap, in case you want to plug an extra speaker.

Its controls are user-friendly, too, especially for a simpleton like me. Honestly, I prefer having less stuff to figure out and let the device do its thing. That’s what technology should be about, right?

Having only a few controls, you can turn on the projector via the power button, amplify the volume through its integrated speakers, make angle adjustments, or correct the focus.

There’s only digital zoom, though, due to its inset lens. To find the right distance and angle that fits your liking, you can only adjust its stand or move the projector farther or closer, resulting in a bigger or smaller screen.

Easy wired and wireless connection

Frankly, my impression of the EF-100B was a clean and pretty portless projector. Truth is, all its technical shenanigans can be found on the back of a projector, behind a removable panel.

There’s a built-in speaker, a hole for your HDMI cable, a micro USB cable, and a USB Type-A socket for accessories, like a Chromecast device.

The EF-100B doesn’t come with an Android stick, so it was a problem for me. I wasn’t really big on entertainment and having a smart TV because I spend more time watching on my phone while on the go. My life before the pandemic was spent traveling and I was rarely at home.

Thankfully, I have a friend who’s such a homebody who lent me his Chromecast streaming stick. Problem solved? Perhaps.

Things to consider

When I plugged in the stick and started using Chromecast, it felt like a whole new world dawning upon my wall — or ceiling in this instance. What I love about the EF-100B is how you can make it sit upwards so you can stream on your ceiling while you lie down.

But before you decide to do that, consider your ceiling’s height. My brother complained about how it feels too close when watching from the bed. We decided to stream The Umbrella Academy on Netflix while we lie down on the floor, in hopes of not straining our eyes.

Moreover, the EF-100B delivers full HD 720p resolution, instead of the usual 1080p. It’s down-scaled, but you don’t lose a lot of detail. Unless you’re running a slow internet connection, which might pixelate your streamed content.

Blacks aren’t any good either, especially when you’re using white walls. Although there are different modes you can play around with to adjust the output’s brightness and it can be bright enough to fill the entire room. Fans can get loud, as well, in exchange for having a better viewing experience.

Having only used a few, cheap projectors in the past, I didn’t have any point of comparison for expensive projectors let alone a gorgeous laser projector like this one. But using it for a month made me realize all these points to consider before deciding to get my own portable laser projector.

For those who are afraid of settling down

Just like most of my recent devices, I used the EPSON EF-100B to accompany me in my journey to self-discovery while in quarantine.

My love for the portability, flexibility, and versatility of this projector stemmed from my uncommitted lifestyle. I was always traveling, running away from anything that requires settling down.

But being in quarantine made me realize the importance of having a good entertainment setup at home. I don’t have a smart TV, and I’m not sure if I’ll be purchasing one since buying one is a metaphor for permanence.

It’s something you buy when you’re sure of settling down. For starters, you need to beautify your space and buy essentials to make it look good e.g. a TV rack, sofa, center table, etc.

Second, TVs are an investment and you’re definitely buying it to accompany you for a long time. But the EF-100B, on the other hand, allowed me to enjoy the freedom of watching shows anytime, anywhere. It can be in my room, outdoors, or even in someone else’s space. Moreover, it’s something I can bring to my travels. Movie nights in beaches after the pandemic, anyone?

Is this your GadgetMatch?

I know, I know. There are cheaper smart TVs that might be a smarter purchase than buying a projector with an exorbitant price. However, my uncommitted lifestyle is drawn to a projector that makes me feel at home anywhere. For constant travelers, home is a feeling.

Although I would agree, the pandemic isn’t going to end anytime soon. We’ll be spending more time in our homes, but I still can’t invest in a smart TV when I’m certain that I’ll be on a traveling spree once more when the world is better.

Having a portable laser projector like the EF-100B can help me achieve a home entertainment setup while still being a little bit detached. I’m still in that “one foot out the door” situation, and until I find someone else I can settle down with, I’d be happy watching on a portable laser projector I can bring anywhere.

Overall, the EPFON EF-100B is a flexible, compact powerhouse — perfect for those beginning to build their home theatre, without investing in other essentials that a smart TV would require.

It’s priced at PhP 59,995 (US$ 1210), a worthy investment for those who are afraid of commitment and settling down. If you prefer the Classy White (EF-100W), it’s exclusively available on Lazada and 3-Hub, while this Tailored Black model (EF-100B) is available in Epson’s official stores.

 

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